This is all to say that I haven't done any sewing since my mad dash to the Christmas Eve pajama finish line. In the flurry that was cutting, sewing, serging and sewing on of buttons, there wasn't enough time leftover for photos and detailed blog posts. But I really enjoyed making the nightgowns (and the pajamas for Jude), so I didn't want to overlook them here, even though they are so last year by now. (Lame? Sorry.)
The moment I laid eyes on Butterick 8247, I envisioned three Christmas nightgowns for my girls - coordinating, but not matchy-matchy. So when the pattern arrived in the mail, I was puzzled when I discovered it only came in one size. I quickly learned that vintage patterns (or at least this pattern) are sold by size, individually. So it was back to Etsy where I thankfully found the pattern in both Tarikua and Indigo's sizes, too.
Since I was new to vintage patterns, I felt a little uneasy about how it would all come together. Each nightgown required quite a lot of fabric - and time. But for the most part it was smooth sailing. A big part of that was because the pattern's measurements were right on. (Sadly, as I'm sure many of you have discovered the hard way, this isn't always the case.) All three girls wore one size down from their age/normal size but I had to add quite a lot of length to both the dress and the sleeves (between 2 to 6 (!) inches depending on the girl). It's always easier to cut off some length than to have it be too short, that's my motto.
I'd say the instructions were on par with what you'd find from most big-box patterns today. They were somewhat cryptic and I found myself deviating from them quite a lot and doing it my own way. But I found it to be a fun challenge, more than frustrating or insurmountable.
I bought the fabric (Dear Stella Confetti Sparkle Metallic) for the girls' nightgowns after seeing two awe-inspiring holiday dresses : this gold dot geranium by Kristin and this gorgeous navy hanimi dress by Cherie.
Indigo chose the cream fabric with the larger gold dots. She said it would make her feel like an angel.
For Tia, we decided on the red with the mini gold dots. I have to be honest and admit I didn't care for the sheen of the fabric with the smaller dots. It looks kind of snake skin-ish to me. I guess that's one of the problems with having to order online - some of those details are lost on the screen.
But Tarikua loved it and that's what matters most.
When Kristin blogged about the geranium dress she made, she wrote about using metallic thread for the topstitching. I knew my girls would love this touch. So glam. Kristin recommended I use the metallic thread on top only, using regular thread in my bobbin since the metallic thread can break pretty easily. I wouldn't have thought of that, so I was thankful for the advice. It worked well!
I generally don't love sewing pajamas. Doing so is pretty much on par with mending in my book. But I genuinely loved making these. They were different from what I've seen at the store and a change from our normal pj go-to: cotton pajama pants and a t-shirt. When I see my girls wearing them, my heart wants to explode. It doesn't get much better than that.
So adorable! They look so cute in their nightgowns, and the gold is such a nice touch. All quiet on the sewing front here...the packing has taken over!ReplyDelete
These nighties are so pretty! And the girls look very happy with them.ReplyDelete
thanks so much, suzy! happy recipients are my manna. :)Delete
Love these beautiful and old world nightgowns!! Really sweet. Love the confetti sparkle fabric with them and so glad my gold topstitching tip helped! That thread can be a bit finicky. :)ReplyDelete
Oh, they are beautiful! There's something so sweet about girls in nightgowns. Just precious.ReplyDelete
these are so great- my daughter would LOVE to go to sleep in one! I may have to add it to my list o' things to make!ReplyDelete
thank you, Erin. my girls really do love them. if your daughter doesn't have a nightgown, i'll bet she'd love it, if she's into fancy. ;)Delete
Yes, absolutely gorgeous! I can't believe you bought THREE versions of the same pattern! Haha! Awesome! I love your choice of fabric, and the thread is such a special touch.ReplyDelete
I love looking at the instructions for my vintage patterns. They are certainly not in-depth, but there are often "old school" techniques - bound plackets, for example - that you're unlikely to see in modern-day patterns. I like that many of my vintage girls' dresses use simple bias instead of facings, and suggest hand finishing the insides. I don't know, there's something comforting about them - they remind me of the sewing I did when I was first learning with my mom in junior high.
(Cough cough, if you ever find you want to pass down that smallest size to someone who would enjoy making it up, cough cough ...)
you know, it's funny - i didn't give buying three patterns too much thought because with Made By Rae's geranium pattern and all Oliver + S patterns, I have to buy two patterns if I want to make a dress for my oldest and youngest. At $16 each for Oliver + S, that adds up. I have adapted those patterns to fit up or down, when it's only off by a size or so. I want to say these were around $5 each, so I definitely felt it was worth it, especially being I didn't have to spend an hour tracing the pattern (two were already cut out for me!). I considered adapting Tia's pattern to fit Indigo when I wasn't sure if Indigo's pattern would arrive in time, but I was so thankful when I didn't have to do that. The yoke and collar were a little fussy. I think it would have been a pretty big headache. Definitely $5 well spent in my book. :)Delete
I really did enjoy the details of the pattern. I felt they were unique and charming. I completely agree with you!
I give you a big high five for finishing all these nightgowns! I usually lose steam halfway through projects where I have to make the same thing over and over again. I’m glad you stuck with it though because they all look so adorable in their quasi-matching nightgowns!ReplyDelete
And I definitely need to get some metallic thread. My daughter would love some metallic top-stitching on a dress (and thanks for passing on the tip about regular thread in the bobbin!)